Canopy plan for Scotland’s wettest town centre sunk

Drookit: Plans for the canopy were put togther after cruise ship visitors were soaked (file pic)

Drookit: Plans for the canopy were put togther after cruise ship visitors were soaked (file pic)

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Plans to install a waterproof canopy over the wettest town in Scotland have been shelved after shopkeepers complained it would spoil their views.

Activists want to build the £95,000 roof over the central square in Fort William in a bid to keep tourists and local residents alike happy even during the frequent West Highland deluges.

With an average rainfall of nearly 1800mm a year Fort William is thought to suffer more than any other town in the country.

Local town regeneration planners came up with the canopy scheme recently after planned festivities for a visiting cruise ship involving local musicians and highland dancers were disrupted by torrential rain.

Read more: Where are the wettest places in Scotland?

But their scheme has now been withdrawn after blueprints submitted in December received more objections than support.

Sue Keen, of the Town Team group behind the ambitious plan told the Press and Journal: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have been given with regard to this project, but we have taken the decision to withdraw the planning application because of a few concerns by the stakeholders immediately surrounding the square.

“Based on the feedback we have received we would like to take more time to consult with the stakeholders and the wider community to make sure we get this right for Fort William.”

Florence Robertson, manager of a local clothes shop facing the square, said: “We are all for anything that brings business into the town. Our concern would have been if it blocked visibility of the shop front.

“We weren’t against it, we just wanted to make sure it didn’t completely block our shop’s view.”

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